how would you handle this?

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I'm going to paraphrase from a friend's blog - it's a situation that I think most parents are up against repeatedly - How do you explain to the children the counter-cultural ways that they are being raised?

(a young child) asked her parents "why we do things like go to church, CCD, confessions, pray before meals and bed, etc. 'when none of my friends do'. "

Nearly all of her friends do go to church. They're just different churches and parishes. The question wouldn't be so difficult if it were "why do we do these things?". The emphasis of the question is "why do we do these things (when I don't see anyone else doing them)?"
It's hard to answer it in a pastoral, non-judgemental fashion. You have to be careful that your children doesn't walk away thinking less of their friends. At the same time, you don't want to water down the importance of what you've been teaching them. In a way it's a bit like when kids whine "but Kaitie's parents don't make her do ..." or "but Joshua's parents let him do ..." but in a different form based on one's beliefs.

And what about the other side - where the other families go on really 'cool' trips or have lots of 'stuff' that is paid for by having two incomes or by getting into horrendous debt?

Later on:
Today the mom of the family came back from yet another round of "teaching" CCD to her 4th grade class (the oldest child is in it as well). She came back feeling as though her students are not only disinterested, but also spoiled. Without exception, every one in her small class _except_ her daughter got an iPod Nano for Christmas.
One student wore a hoodie sweatshirt and tried to see if he could surreptitiously listen to it without being noticed. In a CCD class?! One announced that he was going on a cruise in February. Meanwhile _none_ of these kids attends Mass because
their parents can't be bothered or have more important things to do.

One can talk about her (the mom's) efforts as "just planting the seeds", but to her it seems like she's throwing Kentucky Bluegrass on a Walmart parking lot. The parents' examples (with materialism,
divorce, and virtual non-Catholic belief) is a megaphone compared to
the whisper of her instruction. She wonders why the parents
bother putting their kids into CCD. This mom is pretty certain that
next year she won't teach and (further) she'll pull the children out and teach them at home where they'd learn _more_. As it is, she's
supplementing with additional instruction on weekends.
(A note from the dad here)

I thank God that my 4th grade daughter, in tonight's bedtime prayer,
prayed that some of her fellow CCD students might take their CCD more seriously. She seems to understand how un-Catholic her fellow
students are and what they're missing out on. Not bad for a 10 year


Very sad...but way too common. (I have, at times, been that teacher. "Who noticed the new Paschal Candle at Mass on Easter?" "We didn't go to Mass - we were in Ocho Rios")

But it is still worth fighting the good fight. And despite the futility of it all, some splendid plants - not unlike the sunflower growing out of a crack in our street last summer - will manage to come up in the barren terrain of a Wal-Mart parking lot.

This post is very timely for me. DD, almost 10, was very happy with her Christmas gifts, none of which were particularly tecchie (she even took some gift $ and bought herself a Cabbage Patch Kid) until she went back to school. Her friends gifts included iPod Shuffles, laptops, "kiddie" cellphones and portable DVD players.

I didn't mention above that I taught CCD during my daughter's 2nd grade year (First Penance & First Communion) and encountered many of the things your friend has been experiencing. I suppose it's everywhere, and I do know families whose priorities are in the right place, but many of the parents of 2nd graders seemed far more concerned with the venue of their child's first communion party and whether or not their daughter could wear a wrist corsage than the fact that they were receiving the Eucharist for the first time. I will most likely be pulling her out of CCD next year and teaching her at home, although I feel torn, because I feel as though I'm "giving up" on our religious ed program instead of working to make it better.

My husband and I taught a CCD class on marriage to 9th and 10th graders last spring. We were appalled at their complete ignorance of the faith. Some of these kids didn't know who Paul was or the book of Genesis.

We just prayed that some thing we said stuck in their heads that they would remember at the proper time. Kids do listen better than they let on. Take heart! And thanks to the mom in your family for teaching CCD.

I see this already with the friends of my 4-year-old son. A dear friend of mine, the daughter of an Anglican minister, brings up her 5-year-old with no faith, manners, or self-restraint. He is a little prince and it's all about him.

I took my son to this child's birthday party a few days ago, and he and another five-year-old friend spent the whole time trying to exclude the younger children, then ripped open his gifts without a single thank-you.

I feel sorry for whichever Anglican teacher gets this child in his or her class when it's time to prepare this kid for first communion (which he'll go through just because grandad would have a stroke if he didn't.)

The lack of basic manners, let alone faith, in many children is just appaling. And their parents don't correct them!

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on January 6, 2006 6:40 AM.

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